April means Easter time and the month of eating chocolate and over indulging in Easter eggs. As a child it is an exciting time to see how many eggs the Easter bunny has left out for you. The sheer excitement of arranging all your oval chocolate treats and proudly displaying them like trophies in a cabinet. You never once considered your health or felt bad about eating them you would eat until you burst and enjoy every single crack of chocolate. So why now are we all so concerned and stressed at the thought of it?
It is so important to have a healthy relationship with food and understand why we need certain foods in our diet as opposed to just seeing food as the enemy. Real nutritious food is vital in life so there is no reason to be fearful of it. Nourish your body with good wholesome foods so you will look and feel your best.
"Food (that is, nutrition) is critical to our physical and mental wellbeing. We can't opt out of food, it's a basic requirement of life." - Zoe Bingley-Pullin, Nutritionist and Celebrity Chef.
Let’s change our view on food and approach eating with the goal of enjoyment and non-judgement. Our body is a machine and tries to tell us when to eat and when to stop eating. The question is, are we always listening? We all know that we reach for the fridge door when we might not necessarily be hungry or we eat when we are already full just because there is more food available. It is very important to listen to what your body is saying and be more aware of what you are eating.
"It isn't food that's good or bad, it's our experience." - Megrette Flecther a Co-Founder of the Center for Mindful Eating.
With all the different diets on what is considered good or bad to eat or what we should be cutting out of our diet leaves people associating negatively with food. Eating regularly is very important as our bodies need to be fueled to function properly so skipping meals or starving yourself will more than likely result in eating more of the wrong foods. By snacking on healthy foods full of nutrients that are good for your body will help curb cravings for unhealthy choices. We all turn to food for comfort and when we are stressed, we have the association that food will make us feel better. The fact is GOOD food will make you feel better both inside and out. Enjoy eating, food does not have to be just about refueling your body, you should experiment with your meals and create excitement about what you are putting on your plate.
When it comes to your relationship with food there should be no pressure as that makes it unhealthy and negative. Think about food as source of nutrition and energy instead of something to relieve stress or to be avoided. Improving your eating habits will change the way you feel. When you deprive yourself of something, it takes over and becomes an obsession and if you make your favourite treats off limits you create this unhealthy relationship and are setting yourself up to overeat. All things in moderation!
So taking it back to our days of youth, live a little and if you eat that Easter Egg – enjoy it, ditch the guilt and move on.